Together in Christ: 'Living into Our Identity in Christ' — Colossians 3:12

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

— Colossians 3:12 NLT

Key Thought

God chose us in Christ to be His beloved children. [1] He clothed us with Christ when we believed in Jesus and were baptized. [2] God now wants us to grow into the character of Jesus while the Holy Spirit works within us to mature us. [3] Our lives should display the Lord's love in what we say and do with others as we demonstrate these specific virtues: "tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience."

These five virtues are essential to building good relationships and deepening our most cherished relationships. These virtues are vital for living with others in genuine fellowship. We need to be more tenderhearted and empathetic before we react to others when they slight, mistreat or wound us and when they fall short of Jesus' expectations in other ways. We need to treat others with kindness regardless of how they treat us or whatever they do. We must approach others in humility, not thinking too highly of ourselves. When dealing with misunderstandings or trying to help someone who is wounded or who is not living as he or she should, we should be gentle as we speak with and serve that person. Finally, we need patience as we assess, react, and discern how to respond to others.

Why should we be this kind of person? Each of us is loved by God, even in our own sinful state, [4] and has chosen to display His righteous character, gracious compassion, and unfailing love to the broken world around us.

[1] Ephesians 1:4, 11; Colossians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 2 Timothy 2:10; Titus 1:1; Ephesians 5:1.
[2] Galatians 3:26-29; Romans 13:14.
[3] Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Luke 6:40.
[4] Romans 5:8.

Today's Prayer

Holy and righteous God, my tender and loving Abba [A] Father, thank You for Your mercy, grace, gentleness, and patience with me. I realize that I have inconsistencies in my life of faith as Jesus' disciple. Without Your grace and mercy, I know that I am not worthy of being in Your presence or calling myself Your child. Yet, dear Father, I know You have cleansed and made me one of Your holy children and have gently and patiently dealt with my shortcomings as You have matured me through the work of Your Spirit. O, God, I now ask that You use Your Holy Spirit to grow me in Christlike character. [B] Amen.

[A] Abba was the Aramaic word that Jesus used to speak to His Father in heaven (Mark 14:36). Abba was also the tender word of love, respect, and intimacy that young children used when speaking to their fathers in Jesus' time. Because we have the Holy Spirit, we can also address God with this tender and intimate word, as well (Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 4:4-7).
[B] 2 Corinthians 3:17-18.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Galatians 3:26-4:7
  • Romans 13:11-14:1, 8:14-17


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Illustration of Colossians 3:12 NLT — Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.